Book Launch at Home
What kind of party are you going to have?” a friend asked. It hadn’t occurred to me to make a party. But she was right. Publishing my first novel Memoirs of a False Messiah was definitely worth celebrating. So I ordered 50 author copies of my novel, set up an event page on Facebook, booked some catering, and bought lots to drink. I picked out a red dress that matched the dress my main character is wearing on the cover.
Launch day came. Anyone who honored me by coming received (if they wanted) a copy of the book with a personal inscription. I sat at the kitchen island and signed them like love letters in book after book.
My husband nudged me – it was time for me to say something. So I thanked everyone for coming and read chapter five, a flashback of the main character’s childhood visit with her mother at the hospital psych ward – a chapter that was both touching and intriguing (I hoped) but did not contain any spoilers.
The crowd stood quietly as I read and clapped when I finished. I raised my eyes from my book and saw my five teenagers hovering. “We also want to say something,” the oldest said. The two oldest spoke. They are both 18, finishing high school, and facing the firsts of many life-shaping decisions.
Publishing this novel has been a dream for over two decades. It was never the right time. I went back to school for a graduate degree. I juggled small children and working to support them. My husband fell ill, and I was his caregiver. After he died, I was a single mom to three children under six, living 6000 miles from my family back in the US. Absorbed with how to best care for my grief-stricken children, I established a charity that today supports over 600 young families coping with cancer or cancer loss in their families. I met Alon, who was widowed around the same time as me, with two kids the same ages as my oldest, and we merged our families. I was now mom to five. Dyslexia, ADHD, gymnastics, math lessons, drums. There was always someone or something that needed attention.
The kids grew – eating vast quantities along the way – into self-reliant, responsible teenagers. They needed me less. My evenings became my own again.
Meanwhile, at work, rumors were flying. The company was struggling. The CEO took the difficult decision to sell. I was out of a job, but my terms for leaving were good. Finally, the time was right to publish my debut novel.
The teenagers stood in front of our friends and family and spoke about watching their mom make a dream come true. And that it inspired them.
Of course, that brought down the house. My novel, Memoirs of a False Messiah is a great read (I’m told…I hope you will read and enjoy it), and I am thrilled to death that it is finally in the public sphere. But the kids…my kids are awesome.
This article originally appeared as a guest post on https://jeyranmain.com.
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